I visited the Pomona Civic Center on Wednesday afternoon to see how things were looking a few months after the homeless encampment was removed. People are starting to use the lawn again and the library had a large turnout for a children’s magician. I write about it all in Friday’s column.
A candlelight vigil at a Pomona coffeehouse for a popular barista who had died was a warm moment of community. I was there and write about it for a somber Wednesday column.
Back in 1969, Pomona buried a time capsule to be opened at the city’s centennial in 1988. City Hall, however, lost track of it. The capsule was finally opened before a handful of people late last month. Days afterward, I was asked to open two sealed cans that had been inside. I tell the strange saga of the Capsule Everyone Forgot in Wednesday’s column.
Prior to Alejandro Aranda’s Pomona activities, he stopped in Claremont at the Folk Music Center. And (intoning gravely) I was there. This fly on the wall saw the “American Idol” finalist reunite with store owner/musician Ben Harper, tour the store, talk and jam, with the store staff and the TV crew the only witnesses. Get the inside scoop in Sunday’s column. And yes, I know I’ve written three straight columns on Aranda. Don’t worry, Sunday will be something different. After that I’m on vacation so you’ll get a break from both of us.
I was there Tuesday for Alejandro Aranda’s return to Pomona for his “American Idol” “hometown visit,” which comes with being in the Top 3. And so were thousands of others. “Idol” had said to expect 8,000 to 10,000 and that seemed possible based on what I saw. That segment will air during Sunday’s finale.
It was a fun day, culminating in a free concert. It was also a stressful day for yours truly, as when the concert was over, at 7:30, I had until 8:30 to finish my column, partly written earlier in the day but with lots to add and adjust. I made it. Read about the day in my Wednesday column. And look for a sequel on Friday, as I had an inside view of Aranda’s low-key visit to Claremont earlier Tuesday.
Above, Aranda tunes his guitar while speaking from the stage in front of the Fox.
This old-school 7-Eleven sign at Towne Avenue and Mission Boulevard has delighted me the past year or two that I’ve been eating regularly at a couple of Mexican restaurants nearby. Last November, when I was parked next door at Taqueria Oaxaquena, I thought I’d better document the sign by taking a photo.
Good thing I did, because in March the sign was updated. The new version said “Open 24 Hours.” It does not say “Oh thank heaven!” I shot this one while parked at a red light, so it’s the opposite face of the sign.
I had this post all ready to publish last Tuesday when I happened to be stopped at the intersection Monday evening and saw the sign had been switched out again. Instead of “Open 24 Hours,” it now says “Slurpee,” on both sides. So I stopped, took a fresh photo and put the post on hold until I had a chance to update it. Sheesh.
If the sign has been changed in the past week, I don’t want to know about it.
The “Oh thank heaven!” slogan appears to date to the late 1960s, which doesn’t mean the sign was necessarily that old. It was emblematic enough to be used as the title of a corporate history, 1977’s “Oh Thank Heaven!: The Story of the Southland Corporation” by Allen Liles.
Last I looked, La Verne still had a 1960s 7-Eleven sign, pre-slogan. Thank heaven.
If Alejandro Aranda, now in “American Idol’s” Top 5, makes the cut Sunday for the Top 3, the show will visit his hometown of Pomona on Tuesday, with events including a parade downtown and a free concert outside the Fox. If he doesn’t, then none of that happens. I write about the planning for an event that may not happen, but hopefully will, in Sunday’s column.
You’ve probably noticed the redwood grove across from the entrance to the LA County Fair’s main gate. I was invited to an event to learn more about it, and that turned into Friday’s column.
Temple Beth Israel in Pomona hosted a Holocaust Remembrance event Sunday with people in the community reading aloud from Anne Frank’s diary. I was among them. The event took on a slightly different cast after the synagogue shooting the day before in San Diego County. I write about it in Wednesday’s column.
I follow up on my recent column on the Cal Poly Pomona archives by exploring the end of the university’s football program. That’s the topic of Wednesday’s uncommonly sporty column, with an unrelated Valley Vignette. Incidentally, I don’t understand football and have never watched more than a few minutes of a game.